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Wednesday February 1st, 2023

Easter bombings: Cardinal prepared to go to int’l court if Sri Lanka fails to deliver justice

Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith

ECONOMYNEXT – If Sri Lanka fails to bring the perpetrators and masterminds of the 2019 Easter bombings to justice, international judicial assistance will be sought, Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said.

“We trust our leaders will prevent such an eventuality. We are hopeful that they will respond favourably to our requests through the [report of the presidential commission of inquiry appointed to probe the attacks] and subsequent court cases,” Ranjith told reporters today.

“We shall have to see what the government does after submitting the report. If this does not happen, there are international organisations abroad, and we will act accordingly, seeking the assistance of those organisations, in order to achieve some justice,” he added.

The archbishop also expressed his dissatisfaction over the Criminal Investigations Department’s inquiry into the attacks.

“Those investigations seemed as if they were carried out for the sake of investigating, with no genuine interest. I have therefore decided on an  alternate approach in relation to one specific matter [of the investigation] through the courts. You will learn about it soon,” he said.

The Catholic community can no longer wait around for answers, Ranjith said, adding that the truth about certain specifics of the case must be found.

“We cannot keep waiting. Let us have a copy of the report as soon as possible,” he said.

Recalling his testimony at the presidential commission, the archbishop said that he made a request from the authorities to not limit their investigations to government officials who couldn’t prevent the attacks but to extend it to possible masterminds.

“I’m hopeful that the commission will respond favourably to that request,” he said.

Recent discussions with families of the victims at the Kochichikade and Katuwapitiya churches, he said, want to know who was behind the attacks that killed 267 people and injured at least 500, many of them Catholic or Christian. His people are running out of patience, the cardinal warned.

“If there is no justice from the government or the commission, we will be compelled to take other decisions as a people,” he said. (Colombo/Feb11/2021)

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Sri Lanka shares edge up at close

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s shares edged up on Wednesday pushed as investors bought in to beaten down shares following the previous session’s drop, market analyst said.“

At this price level what we are seeing is a lot of confidence from the investors to collect when the prices drop. So, the market is not falling sharply,” a market analyst said.

Market had also seen buying in Expolanka shares on speculation that the parent company of SG Holdings was buying back into the shares.

All Share Price Index (ASPI) edged up by 0.96 percent or 84.96 points to 8,950.01.

The most liquid index S&P SL20 gained 1.27 percent or 35.02 points to 2,799.53.

Banking and Insurance counters had seen interest on the back of positive sentiments from the IMF.

The central bank has said it could cut interest rates in future when the the country sees fall in inflation, which has already started decelerating.

The market saw a turnover of 1.5 billion rupees today,lower than the month’s daily average of 1.8 billion rupees and nearly half of 2022 average turnover of 2.9 billion rupees.

The bourse saw a flow of net foreign inflow of 45 million rupees extending the net offshore buying to 1.9 billion so far this year.

Top gainers of the day were Commercial Bank, Expolanka, and Ceylinco Insurance. (Colombo/Feb01/2023)






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Sri Lanka bond yields down at close

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s bond yields were down at close following a bond auction on Wednesday, dealers said while a guidance peg for interbank transactions remained unchanged.

“The rates were steady at the auction,” a dealer said.

“This can be a signal to the market saying the rates will go down in the future.”

A bond maturing on 01.07.2025 closed at 32.40/60 percent, down from yesterday’s 32.60/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2027 closed at 29.10/35 marginally down from yesterday’s 29.20/75 percent.

The Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank US dollar transactions remained unchanged at 362.14 rupees against the US dollar.

Commercial banks offered dollars for telegraphic transfers at 371.38 rupees on Friday, data showed. (Colombo/Feb 01/2022)

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Sri Lanka bill auction hits pothole after 2025 bond spike

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka sold only 45 billion rupees in Treasury bills at Wednesday’s auction after offering 120 billion rupees, data from the state debt office showed, amid market confusion over a spike in a two year bond at an earlier action.

30.1 billion rupees of 3-month bills were sold at 29.91 percent, unchanged from a week earlier after offering 60 billion rupees for auction.

5.1 billion rupees of 6-month bills were sold at 28.72 percent, flat after offering 30 billion.

10.3 billion rupees of 12-month bills were sold at 27.72 percent after offering 30 billion.

Phase II subscriptions have been opened.

The market was foxed after the 2025 bonds were accepted at sharply higher yield than market on January 30, dealer said.

There was further confusion as the there was an outright purchase of 2025 at around 29 percent earlier in January.

Some investors speculated that the authorities were trying to drive more buyers towards short end bonds as bill volumes were getting larger. (Colombo/Feb01/2023)

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